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Jan 16 2012

To The Gates Of The 1%

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The Great Teacher Bashing Tour continues in the great state of Washington. All kids will be saved when we have charters and evaluations that work as well as the evaluations of Wall Street bandits.

http://seattleducation2010.wor…

http://saveseattleschools.blog…

The teacher bashing onslaught soared to new heights in September 2010 with the release of “Waiting For Stuporman”. 1 September day, I was privileged to get home from work & be channel surfing & see my Ex-Boss, (7 clicks removed) Bill Gates, sitting on Oprah’s couch with Michelle Rhee, while the 3 of them ooh-ed and ahh-ed over this little piece of propaganda.

Below is a leaflet I distribute at ed deform events, and at sundry other local Seattle community events. I enjoy leafleting.  I enjoy telling people I’m leafletting because I’m prejudiced:

I’m prejudiced against well paid managers, AND

I’m prejudiced against well paid CON$ultant$, because as members of the 1% and as agents of the 1%, their greatest skills are blaming us working stiffs for problems we didn’t create –

I’ve been teaching high school math for over 6 years now,

I actually worked at Microsoft in Redmond as a low level support serf for 5 years,

I was a chef for 15 years, and spent 5 of those years cooking in fine dining in Boston (the Boston Four Seasons Hotel from ’85 to ’87).

I KNOW what high priced CON$sultant$ look like,

I KNOW how little they help my kids learn math, AND

I know how little they help kids at our school, AND

I know how little they help any kids in our district,

I’m prejudiced against well paid managers, AND

I’m prejudiced against well paid CON$ultant$, because as members of the 1% and as agents of the 1%, their greatest skills are blaming us working stiffs for problems we didn’t create –

Below is my leaflet.  

From: A Math Teacher

To: The Education Reformers With Whom I Disagree, and

To: The Agents of the 1% and The Members of the 1% – WELCOME!



TO THOSE EDUCATION REFORMERS WITH WHOM I DISAGREE –

The public education system is failing too many students, especially those without re$ource$, and the failure is as unjustifiable as it is inexcusable. When you want to work on systemic reform, I’m ready to work with you. When systemic failure is blamed exclusively on teachers, I have NO time to work with you, .

At times I want to apologize for all the excuses you hear from the leaders of the state and local bureaucracies, from the leaders of the colleges and schools of education, and from the state and national leaders of my unions – however, I am only a teacher. I am NOT in charge of any of the failing systems, and I am not apologizing for the failings of those who’ve been paid to run the failing systems.

WHERE ARE THE PROGRAMS AND BEST PRACTICES WHICH WORK IN THE CLASSROOM?

This is my 7th year as a high school math teacher. Every year, I’m deluged with “Best Practices”.  The “Best Practices” are never costed out in time to implement, and they’re definitely un-paid for, and the unpaid-for-deluge is never prioritized.  I’m NOT in charge of creating the deluge – the time spent dealing with it is time stolen from helping our kids.

Examples exist of good programs and workable best practices.  For example, in Seattle there is a well regarded K-2 reading program from the organization Powerful Schools.  On their website, they say that a $1400 donation will pay the same tutor to work with the same child for ½ an hour a day, 4 days a week, 28 weeks a year.

To my ex-chef math teacher brain, it seems reasonable that there should be internet lists available of good programs and good best practices. The programs and best practices should be costed out in time to implement by required skill(s), AND, they should have estimated funding requirements, and there should be recommended priorities of programs and best practices for different situations.  It wouldn’t be perfect … yawn… but it would be a huge advance beyond excuses or beyond blaming teachers.

WHAT ARE SOME ROADBLOCKS TO IMPROVEMENT?

I spent 25 years working in that incredibly innovative private sector, where the Masters of the Universe harvest their own water, grow their own shirts, rig the rules to line their pockets, wreck the economy, and turn around and blame everyone else!  The economy I’ve experienced since I was a teenager on welfare in the 70’s has been pretty much a crooked gambling den with, incidentally, some accidental bright spots.  The economy I’ve experienced has tens of millions of us working harder for less retirement security, less or no health care access, less housing security, and little or no income security in our race to the bottom job market.  The economy I’ve lived in has been great for those of the top 5% and 1% – those who’ve employed me as a fine dining cook in Boston for 5 years in the 80’s, or employed me as a Microserf in Redmond a decade ago. An economy ‘founded’ upon crooked accounting isn’t helping the community pay for educating our young.  A community whose main legends are heart warming anecdotes about that guy with the magic bootstraps who didn’t need nobody for nuttin – those legends aren’t helping educate the young. .

Credentials aren’t skills, and in our community I haven’t see much correlation between those running large organizations, their paychecks, and their ability to run the organizations well. I see massive bureaucratic incompetence in education as a problem.  I wish I had an answer. Should we fire everyone who has had a management job for over 5 years in the last 30 years?  We’d certainly lose a lot of people extremely talented at running things into the ground, and dodging blame.

The vilification of the teacher’s unions, lately by people who vote Democratic, would make Ronnie Raygun proud.  I’ve NEVER seen any Democrats this unified on tactics or messaging – except when blaming teachers!  Messaging and tactics this coordinated did NOT come out of the working stiffs, it came from the Big $hot$ who’ve been waging and winning cla$$ war on our communities for decades. Read what Smedley Butler wrote in 1935 – “War is a Racket”.  When the Education Reform Big $hot$ are finished fixing another racket, they’ll be free to line their pockets and free to take care of their friends… and that is going to help the education of which cla$$? WE do need to fix education – and helping the Big $hot$ of the 1% wreck education is only helping people who are using you.

To: The Agents of the 1% and The Members of the 1% – WELCOME!

YOU AREN’T ON THE SIDE OF STUDENTS, THE COMMUNITY, THE TEACHERS!

YOU ARE ON THE $IDE OF YOUR CLA$$!  BIG $HOT MANAGER$ AND CON$ultant$



To the Arne Duncans, Michelle Rhees, Bill Gates, Eli Broads, Wendy Kopps, and their head honchos in the local, state and national astro-turf phake “grassroots” organizations –

YOU SHOULD BLAME TEACHERS!  

We’re the easiest targets!  

We’re trying to make the fix the world for all, which doesn’t help you fix your deck stacking work!

We’re about as politically incompetent as any group could be!  

We’re NOT from YOUR social cla$$!

We don’t hire advocates who use “The Prince” for tactics and strategy!  

From the Statistical Abstract of The United States, 2011, table 701, “Money Income of People … 2008” .

There were appx. 240,000,000 men and women over 15 with Money Income.

There were appx. 24,000,000 with Money Income over $75,000.

There were appx. 216,00,000 with Money Income UNDER $75,000.

There were appx. 180,000,000 with Money Income UNDER $50,000.

How many of you Big $hot$ have spent 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 of the last 30 years in the top 5% or 1% of income?

What new computer chip or steamship industries have you actually invented? What did you acquire through fixing and rigging the game so you’d be the winner? What do YOU bring to the table, other than stellar skills in legalized stealing?

WHY DON’T THE BIG $HOT MANAGER$ AND CON$ultant$ TEACH OUR KIDS HOW TO MANAGE COMMUNITY RESOURCES?

Why can’t you teach our kids how to invest today to create family wage jobs, family income security, family health security and family retirement security?

Because it is NOT what American Big $hot Manager$ and CON$ultant$ do!

I’m 52 … I haven’t seen it since the election of Ronnie Raygun, when I was 20 in 1980.  

WHY DON’T THE BIG $HOT MANAGER$ AND CON$ultant$ TEACH OUR KIDS HOW TO ACCEPT REPSONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILTY FOR SYSTEMIC FAILURE?

Because it is NOT what American Big $hot Manager$ and CON$ultant$ do!

Because the decades long glib slick marketing of high grade thievery isn’t about making the community run well, it is about HolyWood pap movies like “Waiting for Superman”.  We’re living in “Christmas Vacation”, and we’re all just a bunch of Cousin Eddies who are fodder for the by the well paid, well titled, well credentialed, well connected high flying yuppies like Margo & Todd!)  

WHY DO BIG $HOT$ AND CON$ultant$ BLAME Teachers, Principals, Janitors, Secretaries… for SYSTEMIC FAILURE!

Because “truth, justice and the American way” is all about blaming the underlings!

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